After 18 years of publishing and finding new artists, we have never been more excited and humbled by someone’s talent and story. Teddy Swims is an absolute gent, and we have no doubt will join the greatest musicians on the planet. Simply one of the best artists today, competing with the greatest of all time.
Teddy Swims interview by Ben Farrin
Hey Teddy Swims! Thank you so much for your time, it’s an honour. Can we start by you telling us where you are, and what you can see?
Thank you for having me! I’m in a hotel in Boise Idaho looking at the Starbucks next to me wondering if it’s too early for yet another double espresso.
You must be so hyped about your career: currently on tour, a new debut album coming, and the fans absolutely love your music! How are you feeling right now about everything, (have you had much time to soak it up yet)?
I’m trying to make as much room for soaking as I possibly can! Making sure I take every moment possible to be present and grateful for all the good things happening but I’m working my a** off! Tired and wired! Couldn’t be more grateful!
Lose Control is your latest single, and quite honestly it gave me goosebumps within seconds. It’s just perfection. How long did it take to write and finish this song, and what was the inspiration behind it?
It was written at a writing camp in Palm Springs! I’m very fortunate to have had some of the greatest friends and writers in the world on this; Mikky Ekko, Ammo, and of course my absolute hero Julian Bunetta has been writing with me since the beginning of my career and has always seen me! We really developed it into something beautiful!
Musically who inspires you and which artists did you listen to growing up as a kid?
Sometimes I feel like God’s favorite kid I grew up with some amazing friends who are the most amazing musicians in the world who still write, produce, play and tour with me all over the world to this day! Having a foundation of childhood friends has made me who I am.
In terms of the tour, you really are on a mission from Europe to Australia and across the US! What’s it like being on the road for so long, and where are you most excited to be performing?
It’s tough on the mind, body, and spirit but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There are things about it I didn’t know I was signing up for! We miss weddings, birthdays, funerals, and hell we even miss family members giving birth! But it’s worth it for how proud they are and how many amazing connections we get to make with beautiful humans all over the world! Meeting new lifelong friends every day!
Let’s talk debut album! I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy (Part 1) was released on 15th September. Can you talk to us about the record, its sound, and the message it sends?
I’ve been writing songs for the last 4 years and I truly believe this is some of the best work I’ve done out of maybe 400-500 songs! I think it’s a cohesive look into my personal struggles to cope with love and loss and why people do the things they do. I truly believe this is a look into my first steps of healing and growing and if I didn’t have all the people I have in my life I don’t know if I’d still be here!
“Part 1” suggests a series of works. Do you know yet how many parts there will be and what is the plan and idea about the “parts”?
The current plan is to have a second part to this next year! We are currently putting it together and still writing and working to keep the story going!
You currently have 4,866,515 monthly Spotify listeners. I just calculated that you have 112 people listening to your music every single minute, that’s 6,720 listeners per hour! Did you ever imagine your music reaching these kinds of numbers, and how do you feel about it? Do the numbers matter to you, or hold great significance?
It’s hard for numbers to not hold significance! I still remember the first time we got 10,000 views on something and we were so ecstatic and celebrated it! Now if I see something under 1,000,000 I feel let down. It’s diminished returns. But I always try to remind myself those are real people with real lives who care to give me the time of day to connect to them. The more I do this and get to travel the world and meet these people first-hand and hear stories and how my music has made a difference. That makes the numbers no longer have importance because even if it was 10 views and it changed one life it’s so worth it!
With all the raw talent you clearly have, what advice would you give a younger Teddy Swims, before you reached this level of success? Maybe a lesson you have learned from the music industry, perhaps?
I’d tell younger me to trust your gut!! You’re right! Don’t compare yourself to others. Fail over and over! Nobody is counting your failures just your wins! And also, don’t drink so much 😂
Can you talk to us about the person behind Teddy Swims… What motivates you, what are your dreams and plans?
I want to be the best to ever do it! I don’t think I’ll ever personally feel that way but the never achieving goal I set is what keeps me motivated! The best thing about wanting what you can’t have is never getting it! I just wanna see people be decent to each other. Love isn’t as hard as it’s made out to be!
Your music is stunning, and you also look brilliant, it’s like the full package from sound to style. Your label must equally be as excited about your future as you. No one is perfect though, right? Are there any areas you are focusing on developing further?
I feel like I have Warner and my team and family all behind me and supporting me! I feel loved! I can’t lose! No one is perfect but I don’t want that. I see myself as a student to life! I just want to further develop the love I have for myself! That’s always been a struggle for me! Insecurities and the way I talk to myself! I’m trying to learn every day to wake up and look at myself in the mirror first thing and say “I love you. You’re beautiful. You’re doing a great job!”
In terms of appearance, what is your favourite tattoo you have?
One of my best friends in the world Derrick tattooed a portrait of himself on me and I get to carry him with me everywhere I go now. It’s my favorite part of tattoos. When I travel, I get a chance to meet tattoo artists and when I get tattooed by them, I make them sign their name on me too! I feel like I’m a walking art show!
Finally, for anyone out there looking up to you as their role model and who maybe wants to break into the music industry, what advice can you offer?
You can’t always write the good ones! The bad songs or the okay songs will be the ones that inform your best work! Having too many expectations of what something should be could totally get in the way of what you can create! If it feels right, it’s right.
Teddy Swims interview by Ben Farrin